RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. – World TeamTennis (WTT) brings the sport back after a world-wide shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic when its players – including the Philadelphia Freedoms’ WTA No. 4-ranked Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion – embark on WTT’s 45th season.
WTT has aligned with CBS Sports, Tennis Channel, ESPN+ and Facebook Watch to showcase its brand of tennis to its media partners’ domestic and international audiences from beginning to end.
WTT’s 63-match regular season, played from July 12-30 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.V, will either be televised or live-streamed on CBS, CBS Sports Network, the CBS Sports app, Tennis Channel, ESPN+ or Facebook Watch.
For the second consecutive year, CBS Sports will televise the WTT Playoffs live.
CBS Sports Network will air the WTT Semifinals at 2 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 before CBS’ first live broadcast of the Aug. 2 WTT Final at noon
Tennis Channel will air replays of all WTT Playoffs matches (broadcast times TBD).
Also, CBS will broadcast live, exclusive coverage of WTT’s July 19 match-up (joined in progress, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET) between the Washington Kastles – led by 23-time Grand Slam winner (seven singles titles) and four-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams and young American star Frances Tiafoe – and the Vegas Rollers – anchored by the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, 10-time ATP singles champion and five-time ATP doubles champ Sam Querrey and Monica Puig, the reigning Olympic Gold medalist in women’s singles.
The CBS Sports app and Facebook Watch (via WTT’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/WorldTeamTennis)¬ will live-stream the first hour of the Washington-Vegas match, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
All 2020 WTT matches will be available to be streamed on demand through the league’s official website, WTT.com, after each match’s conclusion.
WTT’s full three-week season includes 14-match regular season schedules for each of WTT’s nine franchises – the expansion Chicago Smash, New York Empire, Orange County (Calif.) Breakers, Orlando Storm, Philadelphia Freedoms, San Diego Aviators, 2018 and 2019 WTT champion Springfield (Mo.) Lasers, Vegas Rollers and Washington (D.C.) Kastles.
WTT’s 2020 broadcast schedule can be viewed within the league’s official website at WTT.com/schedule.
WTT’s’ schedule will include at least three matches per day at The Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat Center Court at Creekside outdoor stadium.
More headlining players who will be competing throughout the entire 2020 WTT season include 2017 U.S. Open champ and 2018 French Open finalist Sloane Stephens (Chicago Smash), past World No. 1 and six-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters (New York Empire), eight-time ATP champion and 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic (Orange County Breakers), ATP No. 24-ranked Taylor Fritz (Philadelphia Freedoms), two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren (Orlando Storm), 2018 US Open women’s doubles champion and 2017 US Open and Australian Open singles semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe (San Diego Aviators),
Also, 2014 Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard (Chicago), doubles specialists Rajeev Ram (Chicago), Jean-Julien Rojer (Springfield Lasers), Taylor Townsend (Philadelphia), Fabrice Martin (Philadelphia), Jack Sock (New York) and Neal Skupski (New York), the 2019 WTT Male Most Valuable Player, and American teenagers and WTT rookies Brandon Nakashima (Chicago) and Caty McNally (Springfield).
“World TeamTennis is going to take the sport’s center stage for tennis fans around the world from July 12-Aug. 2 and we are excited to be teaming with an elite group of sports broadcast partners who we consider as leaders in bringing professional tennis into our homes through television and the digital space,” WTT CEO Carlos Silva said.
“Tennis fans, and sports fans, are thirsty to consume live sports viewing experiences, especially as we are able to offer professional sporting competition open to a climate with fans, and we feel our 45th season in 2020 will be our most talent-laden, most competitive and most watched season yet.”
2018 and 2019 WTT champion Springfield Lasers will begin the WTT season, and their quest for a WTT three-peat, on ESPN+ against the Orlando Storm on July 12 at noon.
WTT’s 2020 television debut comes with its next match when CBS Sports Network airs an opening day match-up at 4 p.m. between the Chicago Smash and Vegas Rollers, featuring Chicago’s Stephens and Bouchard and Vegas’ Bryan Brothers, Querrey and Puig.
Southern California rivals San Diego Aviators and Orange County Breakers square off at 8 p.m. on ESPN+ to conclude opening-day matches.
CBS Sports Network is broadcasting 13 regular- season matches, including these
Washington Kastles vs. Philadelphia Freedoms (July 18 at 4 p.m. ET) – the mid-Atlantic rivals meet for the second consecutive day with the Kastles led by Williams and Tiafoe, against the Freedoms’ Kenin, Townsend and Fritz.
Vegas Rollers vs. Philadelphia Freedoms (July 22 at 7 p.m. ET) – the Freedoms’ Kenin squares off against the Rollers’ Olympic gold medalist, Puig, and Vegas’ Bryan Brothers and Querrey clash with Philadelphia’s Fritz.
New York Empire vs. Washington Kastles (July 26 at 12 p.m. ET) – New York’s Clijsters takes on Washington’s Williams in a battle of former World No. 1 players while U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish (Empire) and Tiafoe (Kastles) compete against each other in a generational matchup of Americans.
Noteworthy CBS Sports Network matches in the opening week include Philadelphia-Orange County on July 13 at 9 p.m. (Kenin’s debut as the Freedoms compete against Orange County’s Raonic and Steve Johnson); Washington-San Diego on July 15 at 7 p.m. (Williams’ season debut on the network as she and Tiafoe will face off against San Diego’s Vandeweghe and Ryan Harrison); and New York-Orlando on July 16 at 7 p.m. ET (Clijsters’ season debut on the network as she and Fish duel against Orlando’s Danielle Collins, Sandgren and James Ward).
CBS Sports Network’s schedule over the final week of the regular season showcases defending champion Springfield, led by 2019 Finals MVP Robert Lindstedt and 18-year-old McNally (WTA No. 38 in singles), against Raonic- and Johnson-led Orange County on July 25 at noon and its final two regular-season broadcasts will display Orlando (featuring Collins and Sandgren) against New York (featuring Clijsters and Fish), July 28 at 7 p.m. and San Diego (featuring Vandeweghe and Harrison) against Chicago (featuring Stephens and Bouchard), July 30 at 7 p.m.
Tennis Channel will broadcast 19 of WTT’s final 37 regular season matches live, beginning with a Philadelphia-Springfield match-up at noon on July 20 through a Washington Kastles-Orlando match at 4 p.m. on July 30, the final day of the regular season.
ESPN+ will live-stream 25 regular season matches, from July 12-26, and the CBS Sports app and Facebook Watch will live-stream five regular season matches – Philadelphia vs. New York Empire in a 2019 WTT semifinal rematch on July 15 at 3 p.m.; Washington vs. Philadelphia on July 17 at 9 a.m.; San Diego vs. Vegas on July 18 at 9 a.m ET; Springfield vs. New York in a 2019 WTT Finals rematch on July 21 at noon; and Orlando vs. Philadelphia on July 25 at 9 a.m.
WTT l premieres a 15-minute morning show, ”WTT Today,” which will be available online at Facebook Watch, WTT media partner Dailymotion (Dailymotion.com) and WTT.com at 10 a.m. every weekday during the season, except for three dates (July 17, July 21 and July 30) when the show will begin at 8 a.m.
“WTT Today” will serve as a preview to each day’s forthcoming tennis action at The Greenbrier and feature match highlights and analysis, player interviews and behind-the-scenes features.
Orlando and San Diego each is making four appearances on CBS Sports Network telecasts, leading all teams.
Tennis Channel features Chicago and Philadelphia six teams each, and Orange County and two-time defending champion Springfield over five broadcasts apiece.
Springfield and Orlando are showcased on ESPN+ in seven matches apiece, with ESPN+ also streaming matches involving Chicago, New York, Orange County and San Diego six times each.
Those wanting to catch matches in person, or participate in exclusive clinics conducted by select WTT players through specific VIP ticket options, can secure tickets now at WTTTickets.com.
General admission tickets start at $40 for Upper Bowl seats at Center Court at Creekside, and prices vary depending on the day of the week.
In accordance with state health guidelines, WTT is allowing up to 500 fans (20% capacity) to attend its matches at Center Court at Creekside.
An indoor court, with a fan capacity of 250 will be used in case of rain with priority given to fans with Lower Bowl tickets.
An Upper Bowl ticket does not guarantee access to the indoor facility should matches be moved indoors. In the event of an outdoor stadium rain out, an Upper Bowl ticket will be refunded or fans will have the option to attend on a different day.
WTT is increasing its prize money to a record $5 million and an added $1,000,000 awarded in playoff compensation, including a $500,000 bonus to the team hoisting the King Trophy on Aug. 2.
The top four teams from WTT’s single-division, regular season standings advance to the playoffs.
WTT’s season will be powered by Universal Tennis Rating (UTR).
All matches will count towards players’ UTR rating, and MyUTR.com technology will be used to set daily match-ups by team coaches and be integrated in media broadcasts throughout the three-week competition.
WTT introduced professional team tennis in 1974 with Billie Jean King serving as its co-founder.